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Sixty-five Cleveland executives recently donated their time and talents to support minority entrepreneurs as part of an executive auction June 3-10.

Sewer District Executive Director Erwin Odeal was among the professionals who auctioned their time to benefit the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO, pronounced K-O), which held its 2005 Executive Auction Kick-Off at the District's McMonagle Building June 3.

"Two of our area's greatest resources are our clean water and our people," Odeal said at the kick-off, speaking to a crowd of nearly 100 guests.

Auction participants included Odeal, NewsChannel 5's Danita Harris (shown above with Security Officer Puran Vig), Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle, and executives from the Cleveland Clinic, Eaton Corp., and others, contributing a combined 100+ hours to winning bidders.

CAAO's 2004 auction generated an estimated economic impact of more than $500,000 in the City of Cleveland, according to CAAO's website.